Vaught: 1-on-1 with Kyle Wiltjer, Part 3

"College is another level for all of us. All of us need to prove something, and we know that."

"My shot has been on, but I am trying to hone all parts of my game. Rebounding. I just want to do what is best for the team and whatever coach Cal wants me to do, that is what I will show," he said. "Everyone on this team has to prove what he can do. We are all working hard right now. We are all competitive, and it will be fun when practice starts.

"College is another level for all of us. All of us need to prove something, and we know that."

Wiltjer is not mentioned as a one-and-done player by most fans as Kidd-Gilchrist, Davis and Teague are. However, his dreams are the same as their dreams.

"It is every basketball player's dream to play in the NBA. But I am pretty sure me and every other freshmen that people talk about going to the NBA are focused on the season ahead of us. That is our main focus ,and we don't want to stray away from that. We are going to work on winning a national championship," he said. "That doesn't add any pressure in our minds, either, because we are going to go out there no matter what and working as hard as we can. When you are a basketball player, you want to strive for the best, and the national championship is the peak of college basketball."

Wiltjer has enjoyed his first four months in Lexington, even though he's mainly been in class or working on basketball.

"I really like going to the movies with the guys if we have time. We hit up the mall sometimes," he said. "One weekend during the summer I went down to Lake Barkley with Jon Hood and his family. It was nice to get to know his family a little bit. We got to go on the lake, do jet skis, just relaxing stuff away from the game.

"But the game pretty much consumes my life. I like to going to the movies, but there is nothing I would rather do than be in the gym working hard."

He has not been overwhelmed by the Kentucky fan base, either.

"I always want to go out and meet people.?It is fun being in a college atmosphere. You are only going to be in it once. It is fun to meet people. It is crazy, though, because there is such a great fan base here. I am just grateful to be in such a great place where fans love basketball," he said.

"But the fans know so much. I?think they know everything that is going on in our lives whether we tweet it or put it on Facebook. They know what we are doing even when we don't think so. But I am OK with it. I knew what I signed up for it. Kentucky is such a heralded program, and I don't mind it at all."

However, if there are moments when he needs reassurance about anything, he knows his mother is only a phone call away.

"She really helped me become the man I am today. She taught me to try and be humble when you have accomplishments and staying true to your values. She is great. She is like my best friend. I can tell her everything. I still contact her each day. She is great support for me," he said.

"She will pat me on the back or kick me in the butt. She is very truthful. If I play bad, she will tell me what I?need to work on. I am just grateful to have such great parents there for me when I?need them for anything. That makes life a lot better."


AllWildcats Top Stories